Tea Travels Through Sri Lanka

Posted on:

by Danielle Beaudette (pages 22-24)

Ayubowan (hello, long life) is how I was warmly greeted in Sri Lanka as we pass by the local walking in the streets; they smile and wave at us, happy to see Americans. The crisp white, colorful dresses of the women carrying brightly colored umbrellas are picturesque.

We drive through areas where the Singalese are celebrating their New Year holiday with week-long festivals, offering food, games, bike races, and much more. Politicians take this opportunity to drive in their enormous speaker-laden automobiles throughout the streets soliciting votes.

It isn’t unusual to find a roadside stand selling freshly cut pineapple served with salt and cayenne pepper, or “beatle in a leaf” (this is the areca nut wrapped in a betel leaf). Pomegranate is the state fruit found everywhere and rubber tree farms are all throughout the country. They use the sap from the trees to produce the rubber and when they are too old, they cut them down and use them as fuel for the furnace in the tea factories. Rice paddies can be found deep in the countryside offering a lush, tropical landscape with rich red clay.